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Film / The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

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In this 1974 vampire feature, Hammer Horror meets Shaw Brothers Kung Fu cinema.

In 1804, a man named Kah awakens Dracula from his slumber and asks him to help bring his masters, the Seven Golden Vampires, back to power. Dracula instead decides to take the whole operation over and sets out for China.

A hundred years later, Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is lecturing in China, but is about to leave as his vampire theories have been met with disbelief. He then meets Hsi Ching (David Chiang), who tells him that his home village is under the Golden Vampires' terror, and asks his help. Van Helsing agrees and sets out with Hsi Ching's brothers and sister to the village.

This movie was the stake through Hammer's heart; they made no more Dracula movies after this.

The Shaws would collaborate with Hammer studios again in the same year, in the spy-espionage thriller Shatter.

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Examples in this movie:

  • Action Girl: Mai Kwei (Shih Szu) fights as well as her brother. Doesn't stop her from becoming a Damsel in Distress for Leyland to rescue in the ending.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hsi's twin brothers stick close to each other in battle, holding hands so that each can tell where the other is and so that they can stay back to back or side by side while killing opponents with the swords in their free hands.
  • Badass Bystander:
    • Vanessa's two attendants valiantly deploy knives and martial arts skills when a large group of Tong thugs attack her, although neither of them lasts for more than thirty seconds.
    • When the vampires raid the village for Human Sacrifice victims, many men of the village fight back with gardening tools (most of them in a crowd, and one who attacks a vampire single-handedly) or try to pull back women the vampires are dragging away. They don't accomplish much besides adding to the vampires' body count and demonstrating that the locals haven't yet given up.
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    • Several villagers who survive the raid join Van Helsing and his allies in fighting off a second attack, again at great costs, and they kill one of the golden vampires.
  • Blade on a Stick: Po-Kwei fights with a spear.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Kah in the pre-credits sequence speaks Chinese to Dracula, who understands him perfectly.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The 7 Golden Vampires wield golden swords.
  • Body Snatcher: Instead of helping a mere minion, Dracula takes over Kah's body when he decides to go to China.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Chi-Tao fights with a spiked club.
  • Chinese Vampire: Used as hopping mooks to the more athletic European-style Golden Vampires.
  • Clothing Damage: Vanessa goes through some during the journey to the village.
  • Cower Power: Vanessa cowers behind Van Helsing during the fight against Leung Hon's mooks out in the field.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder rumbles in the background as Dracula dies in the end.
  • Dual Wielding: Hsi Ta uses two axes and his sister Mai Kwei uses two daggers.
  • Familial Foe:
    • The descendants of his old foe Dr. Van Helsing (who are constantly showing up in Dracula stories) fight the evil Count Dracula.
    • The 7 golden vampies clash with the eight grandchildren of two farmers who their army killed in the past. The grandfather got a Dying Moment of Awesome that struck back at the monsters, so they have cause to remember his family.
  • Fanservice Extra: The 7 Golden Vampires seem to really prefer their victims topless.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Leyland lacks the martial arts skills and monster-hunting expertise of his companions (save Vanessa), but can still fight with a gun and packs a mean punch.
  • Gun Struggle: Leyland fights over a knife with one of Leung Hon's mooks, and stabs the guy.
  • Hero Secret Service: Hsi and his siblings follow Van Helsing and his son to protect them from vampires and thugs even before they officially ally to fight Dracula.
  • Heroes Fight Bare Handed: Hsi fights assassins and vampires bare-handed rather than relying on weapons like his siblings, but is just as dangerous as they are.
  • Hooks and Crooks: Some of the undead mooks attack Leland with Chinese hook swords during the cave ambush.
  • Human Sacrifice: The 7 Golden Vampires require sacrifices. Much of their terror comes from how they ride the countryside at night and snatch young girls to that end.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: One of Hsi-Ching's kills is a mook whose throat he clawed out... with his fingers.
  • Kill It with Fire: Prof. Van Helsing makes good use of this trope, first by killing one of the Seven Golden Vampires by accidentally sticking a torch into it, and later giving the same fate to some mooks in the finale.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The 7 Golden Vampires (golden masks) and their mooks (skull masks).
  • Men of Sherwood: The local peasants constantly put up a valiant fight against vampiric raiders but lack the skill to be anything more than additional victims. During the climax, they're being backed up by Professor Van Helsing and a group of martial arts trained siblings and prove much more effective, helping to kill one of the eponymous vampiric overlords.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Vampires and mooks turn to dust upon defeat.
  • "Number of Objects" Title: 7 vampires as said in the title.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: When Kah reaches Dracula's casket, he bows before it, causing the thing open by itself. Dracula then gets up with the power of this trope.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Dracula's undead mooks reside in their graves, until summoned by sounding a gong.
  • Same Language Dub: John Forbes-Robertson's lines were dubbed over by David de Keyser.
  • Shipper on Deck: Vanessa encourages the attraction between Leyland and Mai Kwei despite her own earlier chemistry with Leyland.
  • Slashed Throat: Hsi Tien-en in the flashback, who manages to destroy one of the Golden Vampires, had his throat cut by the swords of two others.
  • Staking the Loved One: Hsi Ching is forced to kill Vanessa after she is turned into a vampire. Grieved over this, he kills himself as well.
  • Taking You with Me: One of Hsi's brothers and one of the golden vampires get into a wrestling match and drag each other into a burning trench.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Vanessa turns evil pretty fast once she's bitten, and proceeds to attack Hsi Ching, her Love Interest.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Before all the vampire/zombie kung fu action, a more flesh and blood obstacle is presented for our heroes in the form of Leung Hon, a Tong leader in Ching Kun who wants to snatch Vanessa for himself.
  • True Blue Femininity: Action Girl Mai Kwei wears a blue outfit and is very refined in a Silk Hiding Steel way.
  • Who Dares?: Dracula's first spoken lines.
    "Who dares to disturb the sanctity of Dracula?"
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Dracula leaves his Transylvanian castle in 1804, and audience introduced to Van Helsing circa 1904. Despite this, Van Helsing claims that he has defeated Dracula in the past (100 years ago?).
  • The X of Y: The film's title

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